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Observing the Binding Site and Dynamics of Protein S1 on a Bacterial Ribosome

Published: Monday, October 08, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, October 08, 2012
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Through the application of protein cross-linking and high resolution mass spectrometry, researchers from Indiana University have detailed the ribosomal binding site of S1 and have observed evidence of its dynamics.

Ribosomal protein S1 has been shown to be a significant effector of prokaryotic translation. The protein is in fact capable of efficiently initiating translation, regardless of the presence of a Shine-Dalgarno sequence in mRNA. Structural insights into this process have remained elusive, as S1 is recalcitrant to traditional techniques of structural analysis, such as x-ray crystallography. Through the application of protein cross-linking and high resolution mass spectrometry, we have detailed the ribosomal binding site of S1 and have observed evidence of its dynamics. Our results support a previous hypothesis that S1 acts as the mRNA catching arm of the prokaryotic ribosome. We also demonstrate that in solution the major domains of the 30S subunit are remarkably flexible, capable of moving 30-50 Angstrom with respect to one another.

The article is published online in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics and is free to access. 

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